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Labor protects jobs: a fair deal on tariff policy.

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Senator Kim Carr Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science & Research Labor Senator for Victoria


Labor protects jobs A fair deal on tariff policy

Labor’s new fair deal on tariff policy will protect jobs in the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries and give business more time to adjust to a more competitive environment.

A Latham Labor Government will slow the reduction in TCF tariffs over the 2005 - 2010 period.

Labor’s policy will see the same total reduction in tariffs between 2005 and 2010 but it will be gradual, giving employers and workers time to adjust.

The Howard Government’s approach to large, one-off tariff reductions is flawed.

Phased reductions, like the ones Labor implemented when in government, give industries more time to adjust and minimise job losses. Labor’s approach is sensible and fair.

Nationwide around 50,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000 under the Howard Government, with regional areas the hardest hit.

TCF industries are particularly important in regional areas such as Wollongong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Devonport and Launceston.

TCF workers continue to be laid off. Many of these workers are mature aged and will have real difficulty finding another job.

This waste of talent cannot continue in a nation as prosperous as ours.

Labor is committed to ensuring that the TCF sector grows, invests in research and development, exports, and creates high-skill and high-wage jobs for future generations.

Labor will review the state of the TCF industry in 2008, before making a decision on any reductions in 2010. Passing Labor’s TCF Strategic Investment Program legislation will be an immediate priority of a new Labor Government. Labor will announce the details of a TCF support package in the coming days.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Catriona Jackson, 0417 142 238

A fair deal on tariff policy Fact sheet

How will this effect any free trade agreements?

Labor’s fair deal on tariffs will have no impact on Free Trade Agreements with the US, Thailand and Singapore. Labor will honour the tariff reductions in these Bilateral Free Trade Agreements.

How does Labor’s phase down compare with the Howard Government’s abrupt tariff slashing?

Labor’s Timetable for TCF tariff reductions:

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Clothing and Finished Textiles

25 23.5 22 20.5 19 17.5

Cotton, Sheeting Fabrics, Footwear 15 14 13 12 11 10

Sleeping Bags, Table Linen and Footwear Parts 10 9.5 9 8.5 8 7.5

Howard Government’s Timetable for TCF tariff reductions:

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Clothing and Finished Textiles

25 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5

Cotton, Sheeting 15 10 10 10 10 10

Fabrics, Footwear Sleeping Bags, Table Linen and Footwear Parts

10 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5